Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My house is a mess right now

I'm trying to fit too much one on one kid time into a week and being totally child centred has led to that state of entrophy that consumes so many homes with kids.

My house it not healthy right now.

Mess is NOT creative. It really isn't - well organized displayed stuff can be creative, but if it doesn't have a place it is clutter, and if it has a place but hasn't been returned to it it is a MESS. Messes are disharmonizing. It stresses us out and frankly for me and mine, it symbolizes brain chaos too. It symbolizes fear, and anxiety, and losing our centre and then it feeds those things.

A healthy home life involves the full circle of any activity.

You do something like make a meal, get the kids to wash their hands, set the table, give thanks for the food, eat together, clear the table, wash the table, do the dishes, and the next time you come to make a meal it is a calm centred activity again. If you break the circle by not clearing the table or not washing the table or not getting to the dishes when you come to start the circle again the primary task of making the meal becomes a harried production because you don't have space, clean tools, etc. You start dropping things to fit in the essentials and usually that means you drop the kids helping because it takes too long or requires some supervision and you're too busy for that in that moment. Then you feel resentful that the kids don't help out automatically. If you are so harried that you can't set the circle right in that cycle then it just compounds and you have total chaos on your hands.

We HAVE to feed our kids every day so the mealtime circle usually keeps rolling along however wobbily.

What about things like artmaking and handcrafting though?

The painting circle requires that clean table, then you put down the painting boards, mix the paint, set a tray to soak your paper, put the paper and paint in front of each child then hand out the paintbrushes last. At last you paint. You remove the boards so the paintings can dry. You wash the brushes, little fingers and the table. You put away the paints. After the paintings dry you wipe down and put away the boards. All ready for next time. If you come back to paint and you've missed steps in walking the circle how likely are you to do the extra work to keep that circle spinning? Its the same with knitting, embroidery, papermaking, woodworking, what have you.

So today we're spending the afternoon cleaning up the mess, together. Tomorrow we will paint.


Oma said...

I know exactly what you mean. I cannot function creatively or sanely if things are chaotic around me. You have inspired me to tidy my den!

MamaAngel said...

I struggle with this so much. The balance between being child centered and having fun and doing basic every day chores is a hard one. And now I'm inspired to get off the computer and go clean up!

XUP said...

Quality child time doesn’t always have to be a “child activity”. Helping with dinner, the dishes, the cleaning, the laundry – all that stuff is good for them to do and they learn valuable life skills. As we noted on my blog, even the baby can help.

Mud Mama said...

I totally agree and thats how things usually go here...this week is different though as I'm not going to see my kids for 5 weeks and we go from fulltime school to a 5am flight on saturday. Everything not cuddle related seems like it can wait.

Oma said...

And it can wait, Mud Mama. Hug those babies tight.

dottyspots said...

It seems to be a bit of a theme recently (tidying). I like to think that my house is pretty clean, but with 4 children, 2 cats and a dog not often 'tidy'. However, I find mess has a habit of creeping up on you and it does appear to have a life of its own and breed.

I've also been having a big clear out recently, filling the recycling bin (just after it had been emptied) and a few shopping trolley loads to go to charity, plus a remaining box for a friend to go through for her girls (who are younger than mine) before I take what's left to charity. Still, the frustration is that it doesn't look much different and just lately it is really bugging me!

Cuddles are of prime importance, but sometimes it's good to have a good clearout and mine have been really helpful sorting out things